Easter bombings: Cardinal prepared to go to int’l court if Sri Lanka fails to deliver justice

Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith

ECONOMYNEXT – If Sri Lanka fails to bring the perpetrators and masterminds of the 2019 Easter bombings to justice, international judicial assistance will be sought, Archbishop of Colombo Malcolm Cardinal Ranjith said.

“We trust our leaders will prevent such an eventuality. We are hopeful that they will respond favourably to our requests through the [report of the presidential commission of inquiry appointed to probe the attacks] and subsequent court cases,” Ranjith told reporters today.

“We shall have to see what the government does after submitting the report. If this does not happen, there are international organisations abroad, and we will act accordingly, seeking the assistance of those organisations, in order to achieve some justice,” he added.

The archbishop also expressed his dissatisfaction over the Criminal Investigations Department’s inquiry into the attacks.

“Those investigations seemed as if they were carried out for the sake of investigating, with no genuine interest. I have therefore decided on an  alternate approach in relation to one specific matter [of the investigation] through the courts. You will learn about it soon,” he said.

The Catholic community can no longer wait around for answers, Ranjith said, adding that the truth about certain specifics of the case must be found.

“We cannot keep waiting. Let us have a copy of the report as soon as possible,” he said.

Recalling his testimony at the presidential commission, the archbishop said that he made a request from the authorities to not limit their investigations to government officials who couldn’t prevent the attacks but to extend it to possible masterminds.

“I’m hopeful that the commission will respond favourably to that request,” he said.

Recent discussions with families of the victims at the Kochichikade and Katuwapitiya churches, he said, want to know who was behind the attacks that killed 267 people and injured at least 500, many of them Catholic or Christian. His people are running out of patience, the cardinal warned.

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“If there is no justice from the government or the commission, we will be compelled to take other decisions as a people,” he said. (Colombo/Feb11/2021)

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